Guest Post: News? Says who?

In days gone by we NZ Herald readers generally found the paper’s website quite a satisfying read, given that it was available for free.  It gave us the essential news of the day and we didn’t have to pay for the mindless trivia which also infests the paper nowadays. But now we have been outsmarted. The Herald has updated its website and now it is the trivia which dominates the home page.  

Take Wednesday’s issue. The first article on the page is about some boat builders losing their jobs! Yes, this is the lead item in New Zealand’s leading newspaper. It seems these men (and women perhaps?) built the Team NZ boat and now they have been let go. The firm they work for has won no more business since that boat was built and the builders have become redundant. But if it took forty of them to build one boat perhaps that is the reason. Employing forty boat builders to build one boat does not seem like a workable proposition.

We learn from the article that New Zealand’s boat building industry is “desperately short of skilled staff” so the people who lost their jobs, the skilled ones at least, will surely find new jobs if they have not already done so.  So where is the news?

The next item on the Herald home page was about a laboratory technician illegally looking up the result of a colleague’s pregnancy test. Yes, this was considered the second most important news of the day by the editor of the NZ Herald. If you think that information is less than riveting it is followed by the revelation that the Oracle crew and the Team New Zealand crew celebrated the end of the race together.

I did not find it too hard to contain my excitement when reading this, but something even more mindless followed. In the next article the NZ Herald informs us that someone called Meghan Markle is getting a reality TV show. I could have read the article to find out who Meghan Markle is but the cat was nudging me for food and her needs prevailed.

In the Herald’s judgement the next most important news of the day was a boy falling and injuring himself (I am not making this up). This was followed by Grant Dalton getting it wrong, whatever that means. Finally we readers were invited to read about  “the best TV shows of 2017 so far”. How on earth can a journalist bring herself to write such pap?

In this internet age we have stuff.co.nz to keep up with what’s going on in New Zealand and endless overseas publications, so why would the Herald choose to feature “news” of interest to virtually no one? I know for a fact that I shall see out my days without ever knowing who Meghan Markle is, and I am sure she feels the same way about me.

 

-Michael Edgar


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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